Writing Books/2nd liability question
QUESTION: I need some guidance. I am writing a book rgarding my experiences behind the scenes at the Home Shopping Network. I do not accuse, but I do report activities of the HSN process, specific things that happened to me, and abouthosts etc., with no names mentioned. How careful do I have to be about lianiliy issues?
ANSWER: Unfortunately, being a "whistle-blower" is opening yourself up to liability.
You will be sued.
No one can really write a book about a derogatory company or people without exposing them- and this cannot be confirmed to be true, therefore, is open to interpretation and cause for liable. They can sue you for defamation of character, cause of loss profits due to slander and defamation, and punitive damages- the list goes on a mile long....
I wouldn't do this.
If you insist on writing this- I would highly recommend changing the names and company to protect yourself.
Write it as non-fiction if you want, but write a notice in the front of the book (like on television shows) that the names have been changed to protect the individuals identities, and so forth.
Good luck and be cautious.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: The "Devil Wears Prada" was a story based on a real person's experience. It appears I have to rewrite the experiences that happened to me into a story that appears to be fiction. Are you aware of other books I can review tat were reflections of true life experiences that had to hide behind the curtain of liability?
Off-hand I cannot think of any books that are based on true life stories; but there are a lot. I am a fiction writer; paranormal thrillers, and read most thrillers.
If you Google that, I am sure you will come up with a bunch.
Television shows are a good example. Cover Me was based on a real FBI agent that used his own family in investigations.
Most Lifetime (tv channel) movies are movies based on true life stories. Some have identities changed, and some do not (obviously those had written permission).
Although books are limited, because names have been changed, the best examples are movies.
Most every author has to write using made up names to protect himself, but does state it is based on true life events but names have been changed to protect the individuals (usually meaning the innocent, and any family that attaches).